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Old April 4th, 2008, 06:14 PM   #1
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Travel through US, do shoots and sell as footage?

Hey!

I am planning to visit the US this summer and travel through it for some weeks (classical road trip from the east to Los Angeles in the west or something like that ;-)

And now I have the idea to take my Z1E with me and do some shoots from different places (waterfalls, crossroads, roads, animals, etc.) and sell that footage. Shure, I know that I won´t get rich with it but maybe the earnings from the footage exchange the flight tickets, hotel costs, bus tickets, etc.

What do you actually think about that idea and how possible is it to sell that footage? I know that there are Microstockagencies like istockvideo etc. but are there "better paying" agencies too?

Regards!
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Old April 5th, 2008, 04:28 AM   #2
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I suppose one advantage you would have is that your footage would be in PAL format- so you could market your stock footage to other folks in Europe.

If you were feeling more bold and creative, you could always shoot as much footage as you can to document your trip in its entirety. Edit it together in a 45-minute to 1 hour timeline, sell it as a travel guide/documentary, and market it towards other people looking to take a holiday in the USA. Before you come over, look at the selection of travel DVDs in your area to get an idea of what's already been done so you don't end up inadvertently copying or repeating something that already exists.

You probably won't be able to take an early retirement, but I'm sure if you put in enough thought and effort, you could produce a little bit of residual income. After all, there are people over here that will buy DVDs of people sitting around a table playing poker. I'm sure there's a market for travel video!

Food for thought!
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Old April 5th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #3
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Ya, that's a hard one. I think it will be tough to sell the stock footage as tons and tons of people have done this. That said, I have taken several road trips, driving from Alaska to LA or such, and always take my video camera and shoot stock footage. More for myself than anything. That stock footage has come in handy for several paying clients projects. They are always surprised when I tell them "O ya, I can pull a shot of surfers and people on the beach from my stock footage library. That will help sell your travel agency." It can totally help you later.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
...That said, I have taken several road trips, driving from Alaska to LA or such, and always take my video camera and shoot stock footage....
Gabe,

When you took your camera through Canada, did you have to get one of those "carnets" or did you have to pay a fee to bring your equipment through? Did you have any hassles or trouble crossing through either the US or Canadian border? I was reading through some other threads, and came across the subject of carnets- which I had no idea even existed. I tell you, just when I think I'm starting to understand the "big picture", another piece gets uncovered and I feel like I'm back at square one!
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Old April 5th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #5
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I have given up researching along time ago but I’ve learned a lot. Here is some advice that can get you the most amount of money.

1. DV and HDV are acceptable but DVCPRO-HD or XDCAM is recommended for much higher prices.
2. Make sure your shooting on public land and its best to be in hard to get to locations.
3. If shooting animals, the rarer the better.
4. Not always required but make sure your getting good sound.
5. Never go anywhere without a tripod. Use a stabilizer if required. Either keep the camera static or do smooth pans.
6. Most of the times, 15 to 30 seconds is all you need for each clip.
7. Tell the stock footage companies what particular clips they are currently looking for.


Most of the stock footage companies will take 50% commissions and some of them want exclusivity for a certain time frame. There is at least one company that wants to buy complete rights over your footage. -This may be the quickest way to make some money but you will no longer own the footage that you shot.

Here’s is a couple of commission based companies that I recommend.
http://footagesearch.com/
http://www.pond5.com/

I can go on and on but it might be wiser to take Shawn McCalip advice and document your trip.

Last edited by Paulo Teixeira; April 5th, 2008 at 08:21 PM.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Shawn McCalip View Post
Gabe,

When you took your camera through Canada, did you have to get one of those "carnets" or did you have to pay a fee to bring your equipment through? Did you have any hassles or trouble crossing through either the US or Canadian border? I was reading through some other threads, and came across the subject of carnets- which I had no idea even existed. I tell you, just when I think I'm starting to understand the "big picture", another piece gets uncovered and I feel like I'm back at square one!

Nope, I never had any problems at all. Of course I just was bringing a PD-150 not some big camera. Nowdays, who knows? The whole border thing is way different now. Usually they just asked me where I was going, and when they heard I was just driving through to get back to the US (seeing as how we HAVE to do that if you live in Alaska!) they just asked to look at my driver's license, made sure I had some money in case I got into car or weather trouble (I did this in the winter once and the roads were kinda snotty) and then let me go. I never had any issues, but maybe I was just lucky.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 08:41 AM   #7
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Stefan, Just a question but what are you going to be shooting that hasn't already been shot by videographers in the US who are also selling stock footage?
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Old July 29th, 2008, 04:02 AM   #8
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Do it

My "day job" is regular production work pre thru post. I shoot stock when ever I am in locations that are unique. The recurring income from that footage cumulatively pays my rent a few months a year.

You should consider at least putting your current footage online as stock. I highly recommend Pond5.

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